Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

December 15, 2010

December Daily 2010 | Day Fourteen

Welcome to Day Fourteen!

If you’re wondering why I choose to do some photos in black and white and others in color…it’s usually because I can’t get the colors to print out right on my printer (or appear decent on my screen). Often those are the ones taken in the lowest light. This one here was taken early in the morning as the kids played while waiting for Simon’s school bus.

Along the bottom is word art from my new Christmas Quotes Vol.1 package at Designer Digitals. Along the top is a bit of paper I cut from a mail solicitation.

We tend to get all kinds of interesting and cool mail this time of year.

Many of the charity solicitations have great designs – this one here is from Holt International (which happens to be based here in Eugene). The other image I photographed was an envelope for a wedding invitation for my cousin Walker. Both made it onto page two today.

I blurred out our home address. I like including something that includes our address (this is our first Christmas in this house).

I collaged together a bit from the Holt piece, part of the wedding invitation that includes all of our names and our address, an image of some wreaths from a catalog, and a chipboard accent from K&Company. Red machine stitching holds it all together.

Along the bottom I typed in my journaling. Nothing complicated – just a few simple thoughts for the day.

SUPPLIES : Ali Edwards 2010 6×8 December Daily overlays; Ali Edwards Christmas Quotes Vol.1; Art Warehouse Hollyberry Transparency (green is sold out but here’s a red one on clearance at; Elise Joy Wish Tag; The Girls Paperie Eclectic Chipboard Alphabet: Two Peas |

All posts related to December Daily can be found here.


I’d love to have you include a link to your DAY FOURTEEN page here. Please link directly to your post or image on Flickr vs. your general blog link. Thank you! Also – don’t feel like you need to leave a comment!


  • 1.
    Helen said…

    Love that you show how you typed direct on the CS with photos already stuck on.

  • 2.
    tanya hughes said…

    Hi there i have come about your website quite by accident…it has been a lovely surprise and a website i will be looking at regularly. thank you for your generosity of spirit to share your life, your thoughts and your creativity with the world. it really is quite insprirational and your honesty and candour refreshing.
    i see you use a lot of day to day stuff in your scrapbooking…like junk mail and normal papers and things…i have often thought of that but then this part of brain kicks in with the idea that they are not acid free or lingin free…and so i don’t use them. but thank you for giving me permission to be authentic with what i use and not follow the so called rules of scrapbooking…no wonder i have been so frustrated for so long…oh thank you, thank you so much…what a relief!
    keep up the amazing work – your family are adorable and it has been an uplifting experience reading your blogs both past and present. all the best
    Tanya xx

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Tanya – welcome and thanks for visiting :) .

  • 3.
    Melissa said…

    Halfway there! :) I’m excited that I’m still going on this project! Yay! Not all of my pages are done but I’m hoping I’ll have time to go back and fill in the gaps later on. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • 4.
    Tara said…

    What a sweet photo of the kids playing. :) I was thinking I would do all 31 days of December, but my book is getting pretty big already, so I might just have to go to the 26th (the day we will have to drive home).

  • 5.
    dawn said…

    I can’t believe we are halfway there already, so happy to be making this album. Your pages are wonderful as always Ali, love the “mail” that you added to yours, love love that you use a typewriter. How sweet to see the kids playing together so early in the morning. I saw on your twitter comments about your doctor appt. yesterday glad to see it went well so far, my prayers and thoughts are with you even if I’m a day late. Thank you again for all the wonderful ways you touch our lives, it’s truly a blessing to know you and your family. Happy Thursday!!

    My page 14 is done and it might just be my favorite so far!

  • 6.
    Sally said…

    I love getting interesting mail this time of year! I used a kraft envelope (that was an ad from Discover Card ) the other day to hold a letter to my son. I threw away their ad and kept their envelope. Perfect! LOVE the joy and peace paper that you used!

  • 7.
    Lee said…

    I love how your album is shaping up, Ali! Great idea keeping the mailing envelope :) So inspiring. Me? I’ve linked to the week of photos I’ve taken – everything will be developed at the end of the month with the first week of January being construction week – I even have it on the calendar (in pen) so it won’t be (another) unfinished project! Enjoy the rest of your week :)

  • 8.
    Carla said…

    Hi Ali,

    Another great page. Can I just say I am loving doing the DD. I tried last year but didn’t like the results. This year, with a new camera and your downloads, I am loving it!!! This may be a dumb question, but how did you blur out your address on your page. I want to put my pages up on my blog, but because of what I do for a living, I don’t want personal information or photos of my kids displayed….blurring some images might be an alternative.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I used the “Blur” filter in photoshop. Use the “dotted rectangle” (also called the rectangular marquee tool) to draw a rectangle over the spot you want to blur and then go to Filter/Blur. I usually choose Gaussian Blur. Increase the pixel radius with the slider to blur the area. Click ok and that should do it.

  • 9.
    Vavie said…

    I love your pictures; so beautiful

  • 10.
    jamie said…

    well i think the b/w photography adds well to the entire feel of the book. your large photos in b/w have been some of my favorites.
    wonderful book.
    thanks for inspiring again.

  • 11.
    Samantha O said…

    I love the idea of printing black and white prints when the colors don’t look quite right. I have so many pictures taken indoors that tend to have and orange/yellow glow (because of the hardwood floors, I think). Also, I don’t have a decent camera, just a point and shoot digital. It takes great outdoor pics. I’m definately going to try this. Thanks. :)

    • ….
      Christi said…

      Samantha, when you take photos indoors, turn the white balance setting to the lightbulb. That will counteract the warm, yellow light from indoor lights. Or if you have an indoor/party setting try that for the same effect.

  • 12.
    Sarah R. said…

    Technical question, Ali: Do you mount your left pages (usually the 6×8 photos) on their own piece of cardstock, then mount that to the back of the previous day’s right page; or, do you just mount the photo/journalling directly on the back of the same cardstock as the previous day? The reason I’m wondering is because I see you use lots of stitching, and I’m curious how it may, or may not, affect the previous day’s layout. I really, truly enjoy your blog, and this project, so thank you! Sending postivie thoughts your way!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Sarah – the printed photo is adhered to the back of the previous page. Most of the time I’ll add the stitching so it’s just on the one page before adhering. I usually check to see what’s on the other side if I was going to stitch through the whole thing – sometimes it works to do that too.

  • 13.
    steffb said…

    You mean you don’t want us all stopping by for a visit?! Love how you repurpose junk mail into something beautiful. Last year when you did this it freed me to put a beautiful Pottery Barn table in my album ;-)

  • 14.
    Wilna said…

    i love the picture and the joy and peace mail! I must say, i am getting to feel a little overwhelmed right now with my Dec daily. It’s like running a 5K and after 3K i just need to get my heart rate down and take a drink of water : ) Right now i think i am going to skip a day or two… Any advice?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      I totally feel the same way Wilna. Today I’m just going to see how the day unfolds and plan to work on something this evening (I’ve been trying to do it earlier in the day so I can “be present” with my other responsibilities in the evening. I don’t plan on skipping any actual days in the book…but skipping a couple days of actual work on the book is not a bad idea at all (just keep taking photos and you’ll have something to day). Actually, life moves on anyway…there’s always more stories ;) .

    • ….
      Wilna said…

      Good idea… i also love what you wrote on facebook: #decdaily tip: December Daily is not all or nothing. Even a couple stories are more wonderful than none.
      : )

    • ….
      dawn said…

      Hi Wilna,

      Just a thought for you after reading what yu asked Ali and what Ali replied back. I too feel a little overwhelming each day too so I’ve decided to do some pages without pictures and embellishments. Just some words/stories/list of our day that kind of thing that way I can take a break from the printer also. I can’t believe in 14 days I need a new ink cartridge already, that was fast. I’m also going to try and remember next week while kids are home to let them each do their own page, just simple and in their own words. Good luck and remember to have fun with it, no stress.

    • ….
      Shannan said…

      Simple pages I have done in previous years that you could easily add in later include things like a recipe for something I baked, a photo of a new ornament or decoration we bought for the house, a story about our favorite holiday movies, the menu I am planning for christmas day etc. These are quick pages that aren’t date dependent and can be added anytime.

    • ….
      Alida said…

      Hi, I like to do my pages at the end of each day to “keep up”. But my computer screen left this world a few days ago and gave me an obligatory break from December Daily. It was good to take that rest while still taking photo’s and writing down notes. I also realised that days when I don’t have a story planned, some story does pitch up eventually, like a surprise party for my boys arranged by my sweet neighbour.

  • 15.
    Trisha Harrison said…

    Love day 14 !! Beautiful pages Ali !!

  • 16.
    Alexandra said…

    thanks so much for talking about black & white as an option.
    I took a photo last night (with my cell phone) of us all at dinner – great, fun photo but poor lighting. I just finished working with it – converted to black and white – loving it now!!
    thank you :)

  • 17.
    Lori said…

    love the simplicity and the black and white picture. i’ve done a couple b/w pics in my album so far and love it. my white balance was sooo off for one picture, but when i turned it to black and white it looks really great and timeless! praying for good health for you :)

  • 18.
    julie b. said…

    I love how you incorporate stuff from the mail. You have mentioned this in previous years and I always forget to keep an eye out on my own mail for this detail. I love the picture of the kids on the front porch…so sweet.

  • 19.
    Estellita said…

    To find originales ideas is becoming more and more difficult, isn’t it ??? I am thinking about something special, but nothing is coming in my mind … Perhaps will i copy you ;-) ))))

    • ….
      Alexandra said…

      I’m running out of ‘regular day’ ideas too but I did think of this…

      I guess it depends on what type of climate you live in but here in Canada winter is so different than the rest of the year so I have been thinking of throwing in a day that focuses on what we wear to bundle-up for winter – close-ups of the boots we have, kids hats and mitts – anything fun and cozy that keeps us warm :)

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Love that idea Alexandra.

    • ….
      Steph said…

      As another Canadian, I’ve actually done a day which was a crazy snowstorm. Pic of the snow first thing in the morning when it started, screenshot of the weather report online, the kids having fun after school, including the piles of wet snowsuits afterwards and the drips of water all over my floor! this is part of my everyday in the winter and yet, I’ve never taken a photo of that. And then the final shot the next morning with the 2 feet of snow we ended up getting.

  • 20.
    Cynthia H said…

    That paper from the Holt International mailing is gorgeous!

  • 21.
    PEG said…

    Simon has time to play defor he waits the Bus ? Enora my daughter just has to run after the bus for the driver stops and catch her !!!!
    She is always late !
    Love your photo.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Oh yea – we make the time. He gets super upset if he doesn’t have time before the bus comes to hang out outside. This time of year it’s pretty cold. He gets up earlier so it’s all built into the morning routine.

  • 22.
    Ellie said…

    Oh Ali you make me want to go get an old fashioned typewriter Ha.. But since I can’t at the moment I did the next best thing. I looked up some free fonts that actually have old typewriter font so now I can have that look on my pages as well! Hmm I think I am going to work on today’s page about Teacher’s/School gifts. Can’t believe how Christmas is only 10 days away! :)

  • 23.
    Maureen said…

    My daughter was adopted through Holt when we lived in Thailand! She’s now 37…

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Oh awesome Maureen! Chris is good friends with one of their main people here in town.

  • 24.
    Karen H said…

    I love this Ali! I have been wondering how you do your black and white conversions. Is there a link somewhere or some action you use? I find I don’t do as many black and whites because I don’t like my conversions or my printer has a hard time getting the black and white right. On another note, your Dec. Daily has become MY advent calender, so fun to check each day, like a little gift :)

  • 25.
    Jill said…

    Ali, I love how you are incorporating collected papers from right now in your book. I’ve not done as much of this in years past, but this year it’s my favorite aspect of my book (even more than pictures, but that’s just me, I think ;) . Hooray for using what crosses our hands!

  • 26.
    andrea g. said…

    LOVE this one!!

  • 27.
    Carrie said…

    LOVE the use of the mail – especially the lovely calligraphy names.

  • 28.
    audra said…

    Wondering if you could share where & what rings you are using for your December daily. I’m having trouble finding large enough ones. Mine is getting thick as I’m sure yours is as well. Thanks you. I’m SO loving your DD, It looks GREAT!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Audra – I ordered both 2.5 and 3 inch rings from Amazon (had to buy a small box of each). I’ve also read that people have found them at local office supply stores like Staples or Office Depot.

    • ….
      Laci M. said…

      I found my 3″ ones at Office Depot in a little box of random sizes.

    • ….
      Steph said…

      Mine are the 3″ from an office supply store, which I thought were rather ugly. I used black Staz-on and now they look pretty nice.

  • 29.
    heather said…

    OMG even more excited that i have a typewrietr coming I won on ebay!

  • 30.
    M. MADISON said…

    Fantastic page Ali! Love the “waiting for the bus” picture:)

  • 31.
    Steph said…

    Your pages are so beautiful Ali! I love that you can go from writing a long heartwarming story to another day of simple notes. Keeps it interesting!

    Without a fancy photo printer (I have an HP Officejet 6500 for journalling, everyday use), my master plan was to outline the sizes of the photos, get them ready for print and do a print run every week or so at my photo lab. I have done my journalling by hand or printer and attached that in where it fits already as well, I’ve attached stuff like our anniversary dinner receipt, etc.

    I am pretty comfortable with Photoshop Elements and use Version 7. I’ve picked up a variety of your add-ons from Designer Digitals and was so excited to pick up my first batch of prints early last week. Not happy – my developer – only one in my town that prints 6×8 cut them off at the bottom by 1/8″. I wasn’t sure if their 6×8 was a true size or if they did that as a rule, so called and they said it should be bang on. Well, last night I picked up my 3rd batch, including all the reprints from before that were wrong and now I don’t know what to do. They keep telling me about cropping and that it is normal for photos to be cropped differently then what they were in your camera when you pick different print sizes on the website. Duh! I am in Canada, let’s just say they are national and their name starts with a “B” – fellow Canadians will know who I mean. So, anyway not to be bah humbug or bad mouth a business I don’t mean to have it come across like that – sorry, but I just want to get my pics printed and not lose my mojo for this amazing project!

    Do you or anyone else, have any ideas? I am stuck here where I live. Should I just go online somewhere? Where is the best place to print that will be exactly 6×8. The store manager I spoke with today just doesn’t seem to get it – he actually told me oh, they are just trimmed a bit! But, now they don’t fit into my beautiful book! Any suggestions would be so appreciated. Also, what is shipping like? I live in a border city, so can use a US address (I know up in the big North sometimes shipping takes forever!).

    Thanks in advance!

    By the way Ali, the farther we get seeing your pages, the more and more I am loving the transparencies. I love them!

    • ….
      Steph said…

      Oh, I forgot one other thing I wanted to ask. What kind of photo printer do you use? I’m sorry I know you have probably mentioned it somewhere on your site before but I never followed your blog before on a daily basis as I do now since starting the DD. What is the ink cost? Are you happy with it? Seriously, to avoid this printing frustration I am considering just buying a photo printer for special projects like this. My everyday HP does not print nice photos at all, but I know its probably not meant to. What brand of paper do you use? I think your photos look amazing – you’d never know they were home printed. If I printed mine with what I’ve got it would look like a kindergartener did it. Hmmm…maybe a new photo printer could be a good thing. I haven’t bought anything for this album – used my stash and only paid $0.50 each for my rings – my local Office supply store (small mom & pop operation) sells them all individually.

    • ….
      Laci M. said…

      Hey Steph, I just thought I’d comment as I have the same printer as you and I tell you what I found, its all about the printer paper. I used some cheap paper and my pics took forever to try and smeared later, but I just bought some really pricey paper and it works WAY better. Your printer should be able to do the same with good printer picture paper. I bought ‘HP Advanced Photo Paper, Glossy’ from Wal*Mart.

      Also, with your cropping it sounds like you know how to use Photoshop, are you cropping your pics as a 6×8? On mine, I have to make a background of 8×10 and drag my 6×8′s onto it to get it right as 6×8 isnt a normal size. You may have to do that, then when you get them printed tell them they are 8×10 and they’ll print it out that way, you’ll have white on either side though but you can just trim that down. Hope that makes sense. It took me a few hours to figure out how to print that. Maybe try printing it out at home to make sure the size is right then go have them printed professionally.

    • ….
      Steph said…

      Hey Laci – thank you. My paper is Avery double sided – matte on one side glossy on the other, but looking at it now it is not attractive on its own. I’m going to go and pick up the paper you suggested and give it a try tomorrow.

      Yeah, whether or not I am just cropping a photo to 6×8 or using one of Ali’s templates, it is all a true 6×8 in Photoshop. The developer I use actually does 6×8′s (so they say). The attractive thing was that this week the prints were $0.29 each which in Canada is fantastic. Thanks for the tip for using the 8×10 canvas…I was thinking maybe I’d have to do that, but since they are $4.97 a piece, it could get pricy by the time this album is done.

      I will try the paper tomorrow and let you know :) Thank you!

  • 32.
    Newfie Princess said…

    Hi, I found my rings at our local quilting/stitching store.

    • ….
      Steph said…

      I just spoke with my sister who is doing this project and she is using drapery cording. Looks pretty nice – something different!

  • 33.
    candy said…

    i love the b/w photos too! and the perspective on this photo is great too!

  • 34.
    Tere (Marie) said…

    I love it.

    I’m having the same/similar issues with my printer (which is the same as yours), where I see a brighter picture on the screen and it’s darker. I was just going with it, because it is what it is. BUT I like the idea of black and white.

    And I’m way, way behind. I’m documenting (pictures, mental and paper notes) but haven’t assembled. But my baking is all done :)

  • 35.
    Louise Fortune said…

    I have just read all the comments and responses some great thought and tips there, Dawn, I really like the idea of getting each child to do a page, mine both finish school tomorrow so I think that may be a weekend activity.

    Wonder if I can get the Hubby to contribute.

  • 36.

    these are all amazing!

  • 37.
    Jan said…

    This is so fun!

  • 38.

    LOVE your use of the mail here!! :)

  • 39.
    Mo said…

    Loved the typewritten element!

  • 40.
    Kristal said…

    What a gorgeous black & white!

  • 41.
    Katrina Kennedy said…

    Ali this is another gorgeous page! I love the 6×8 size for photos, makes so much sense!

  • 42.
    Jen said…

    love this use of everyday items in this post and the “realness” of it. totally touching and totally holiday.

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